During my coaching session, we went over some of my goals for the semester. One example I listed was gain more confidence. I have never really been in front of a classroom for an extended period of time before and I am a bit quiet and reserved when it comes to college classes. I want to be able to connect with all or at least most of the students and exert more enthusiasm in my lessons. We then talked a great deal about student engagement. This was much of the focus for my coaching session.
When it comes to engagement for the students, I would really like to keep advanced students challenged and engaged, while also keeping the less academically gifted students engaged and not overwhelmed. I would really like for them to think about problems, not just look through past notes to be able to solve problems. Many students can solve problems they have trouble with if they just think about what the problem is asking them to complete, and using information the problem gives them.
One different way that I could incorporate into the classroom with the desire of being successful is for students to have fun. Use problems that are relatable to the students. This spurs interest for the students that increase the likelihood for students to be engaged. I would really like more collaboration and group work between students. I really do not like going into a classroom and the classroom is quiet. It almost seems like just working on worksheets is like working on tests, and I do not want the classroom with that has a testing atmosphere every time someone walks in the room.
Things that would support engagement we talked about was hands on activities mixed with lecture. I think hands on activities both solidify understanding and lets the students dig deeper into mathematics. However, having all lessons based on hands on activities with discovery and explore is impractical since time is crucial. There needs to be some lecture to both guide students and cover all the topics we are suppose to in a year. Also, projects are helpful to get away from just worksheet after worksheet. I think students can have fun with these projects and spur more engagement. Finally, giving students choices is helpful to activate engagement. After observing lessons in the past, it seemed like students had more fun and worked hard through an activity when there were choices presented to them for assignments or projects.
In the end, for my future lessons for teacher assisting I would really like to start with a launch of some sort. There is the opportunity to get students ready for the day’s lesson while also not wasting valuable class time. Next would follow into the lesson with lecture mixed with activities. There are some lessons I have done for my micro-teaching in the past that will apply to the chapter I will be teaching. Finally, end the class with a discussion and collaboration to define what exactly we did during class and to consolidate student thinking. Incorporating this method would hopefully spur more engagement and challenges for advanced students as well as keeping less advanced students engaged and keeping them from giving up.